Three stray thoughts on a Tuesday

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It’s a real nice day out today and, to be quite honest, I don’t want to spend it inside blogging, so I’ll throw together a few items for your daily consumption. Today’s a good day to opinion on all things David Clarkson, Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov.

David Clarkson vs. ???

I don’t know whether the Leafs have interest in David Clarkson or not, but after trading Matt Frattin and likely losing Clarke MacArthur, the Leafs are going to need another winger to fit into the Top Six. Not that Frattin or MacArthur spent a whole lot of time up there last season, but the Leafs suddenly went from being very strong and wing to somewhat thin.

Now, there’s been talk in Toronto about David Clarkson. Not only would he bring scoring punch, allegedly, but also the size and toughness that the Leafs desperately need. Somehow, I doubt this. I think teams make a lot of bad mistakes in free agency, giving long-term deals to players that can’t possibly live up to expectations, and you’d prefer your team to take a seat on the bigger names during the UFA period and concentrating on the value signings to shore up the depth positions.

Because there’s always the small detail of what a UFA costs:

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Dreger is quite involved in the hockey world, and while I can’t see a team giving out maximum term and north of $6-million per season, I think that Clarkson gets a lot of money to set him up for life during this period. He will assuredly disappoint, as general managers looking for reinforcements seem to forget that by the time players are UFA age, they’ve past their scoring peaks.

There is a much cheaper option out there that brings to the Leafs what I think David Clarkson would. Since our mystery player is 26 years old, let’s go back to the time David Clarkson was 26 years old and look at the career stats for those two side-by-side.

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Here is height, weight and age, along with career games played:

  Age Height Weight Career GP
David Clarkson 26 6’1″ 200 298
??? 26 6’1″ 225 351

Here are basic career-to-date goals and points statistics projected over 82 games, coupled with shots per game:

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  Goals/82 Points/82 Shots/GP
David Clarkson 14.3 27.5 2.10
??? 17.5 40.9 1.78

Our mystery player shoots less, but scores a similar number of goals and gets much, much more assists. He’s likely a better playmaker.

Here are even strength scoring rates per 60 minutes. Again, our mystery player is better. He doesn’t see a lot of powerplay time on his current team:

  EV Goals/60 EV Points/60
David Clarkson 0.699 1.40
??? 0.832 1.77

And lastly, we have Corsi statistics, which also tell us something about a players defensive game. The first column, CF%, tells us the percentage of total shot attempts for a player’s team when he was on the ice. TM CF% tells us the average Corsi % of his teammates, when they weren’t on the ice with that player. Opp CF% is the same with opponents:

  CF% Team CF% Opp CF%
David Clarkson 0.501 0.505 0.497
??? 0.505 0.497 0.502

I wasn’t expecting our mystery player to be that high, but he’s fared well for himself, with teammates that don’t crack an even 50%, and against opponents that are slightly better than 50%. Clarkson is a plus-player, but he had better teammates to work with and slightly easier opposition.

Clarkson’s ability over our mystery player is his individual shot rate. Team shot rates are higher with our mystery player on the ice than with Clarkson, though.

So I think the Leafs should go with the mystery player. Overall, it’s pretty tough to say that at 26, isn’t a better option.

Stats via Hockey Reference and Hockey Analysis

Tyler Boz-ahahahahahahahaha-k

Apparently Newport Sports, the agency that represents Tyler Bozak, “offered” the Maple Leafs a maximum eight-year term. That’s per Darren Dreger, who is Dave Nonis’ cousin.

Obviously, that is not very smart. It goes without saying that the Leafs need to simply sever ties with Bozak. While he probably has some value as a third line centre, he wouldn’t be able to play in that capacity with the Leafs since there is just too much history with him at that position.

Nonis still hasn’t broken off talks with Bozak, unless he is just doing the right things to not burn bridges with Newport Sports. Until Bozak signs on the dotted line with another team, there’s still a possibility that he is again, the No. 1 centreman for the Leafs next year despite having no spectacular faceoff ability and not only has no chemistry with Phil Kessel, is actually a drag on his overall production.

Leo Komarov says goodbye

I guess it’s official for Uncle Leo, the second piece officially gone from the Maple Leafs formerly expansive cast of depth players. The Leafs retain his rights for just one more year before he hits age 27 and becomes an unrestricted free agent. That’s very soon.


The mystery player is Nikolai Kulemin, by the way.

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  • millzy09

    Just heard Darren Dreger say that apparently Vinny Lecavalier is headed to Philly. I have a question about the free-agent rumours over the past couple of days. Why does no one mention Mike Ribeiro as a Leaf target? I see him as a legit top-line centre who is a serious upgrade to the Leafs power play.
    Can’t understand – the silence around this guy is deafening.

  • millzy09

    Your Kulemin-Clarkson analysis would look a little difference if you looked at just the last 3 seasons.

    Kulemin: 0.490 CF%, 0.487 TMCF%, 0.504 OppCF%, 0.928 G/60

    Clarkson: 0.539 CF%, 0.509 TMCF%, 0.498 OppCF%, 0.846 G/60

    Add to that the fact that Kulemin has played on a very good offensive team and Clarkson a fairly weak one I think Clarkson is probably the better player (though Kulemin can play on PK where as Clarkson has not). Not $3M/yr better, but probably better. That said, I’d love to have both of them on the Leafs and wouldn’t object to a Clarkson signing if the price was right ($6.5M for 7 years is not the right price though).

    • For starters, I think it is important to know what the player is now, not several years ago, since it is now that we might be signing him.

      Second, Clarkson has scored 45 goals in his last 128 games compared to 52 in his first 298 games. That’s a big difference that needs exploring further and it is not safe to assume Kulemin’s career will progress in a similar way.

      Thirdly, Kulemin’s career year almost certainly came in the early years while it is certain that Clarkson’s did not this Kulemin’s early career stats probably contain more “good luck” than Clarkson’s.

      Finally, Kulemin has scored 14 goals in his last 118 games over past 2 seasons compared to Clarkson’s 45 in 128. That is a huge difference to just ignore when doing a player vs player evaluation of who you would rather have on your team right now.

  • jasken

    Clarkson for 6 mil would be foolish, Not happy Komarov returning to KHL liked his play and Bozak would get what he asks but his term is to long 2-4 yrs at best.